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Adkins: Remember this feeling

3 May 2014

Boss reflects on Burnley draw

After play-off heartache, Manager Nigel Adkins told his players to remember how much they were hurting, and use that emotion to come back stronger in the future.

It was the cruellest of ways to miss out on the top six, as an injury time Brighton goal at the City Ground saw us finish seventh by one point.

Adkins said, "I said to the players after the game that they should bottle up the horrible feeling. 

"I've experienced euphoria in my career but you also need to feel the hurt so it galvanises you and gives you the perseverance to keep going when things go against you.

"It was a low dressing room and not a nice feeling when you don't achieve what you set out to do."

The match itself was a topsy-turvy affair, and of the two sides Reading did more to win, but were ultimately left to rue key chances that were either saved or blocked, particularly in the second half. Had we taken those chances, we would have made the top six.

Adkins, "It was a good game, we should have had a penalty in the first couple of minutes, then Jobi forced a good goal.

"Then for the rest of the first half Burnley demonstrated what a good side they are.

"In the second half we did really well, Garath McCleary scored a wondergoal and it was evenly balanced.

"We were in the ascendancy in the second half, creating chances and then lo and behold Brighton score at the death. It was too late for us to do anything differently because we were already on top in the game, we were looking to win the game anyway, we were on the front foot for a lot of the second half.

"It was a good performance, a good game, but it's not enough to get us where we wanted to get to.

He continued, "We were well aware of the other game but concentrating on our own performance because we were on the front foot. We changed the shape, created some opportunities and the goalkeeper made some top saves.

"Pav had a double deflection on his one, then there was a great pass from Hal to put Garath in, and the keeper stopped it with his outstretched foot. On another day they go on, but it wasn't that day today."

The boss and players stayed behind to clap our fans on a lap of appreciation, and the boss said it was important to thank our loyal Royals. "We applauded the supporters after the game because that was the right thing to do. It was a big effort, and the supporters were behind the players, as they have been all season.

"I know people had been [mistakenly] celebrating, but it just takes one person to shout and there's mass hysteria. That can happen."

Asked to look back on key moments in the season, he said, "At the end of 46 games, we've ended up in the division where you deserve to end up.

"Life is a rollercoaster and we've missed out on the play-offs in the final minutes of the season.

"Have we drawn too many games? Yes.

"Have we not won enough games at home? Yes.

"Have we had too many injuries? Yes.

"Have we not been able to strengthen maybe in the areas we want? Yes.

"But that's the reality and what we have to do is get ourselves ready and prepare for the future."

Looking ahead he said, "We'll be back with the grit and hunger and required. I want us all to be in the Premier League. We'll keep working extremely hard.

"I keep talking about it, the future is very bright and the Academy play football that is fantastic to watch. I thought Jake Taylor was excellent when he came on today, and look at Jordan Obita deservedly winning player of the season.

"Now we'll be back in soon and planning for the future."

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